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Us 18, South Dakota 14, Washington 11, Kansas 11, New Hampshire 9, United States 8, United States Senate 7, Illinois 6, Mr. Reid 5, Mr. Johnson 4, Cochran 4, Charlie 4, Johnson 4, Ronald Reagan 4, Ms. Ayotte 3, Mcconnell 3, Kirk 3, Greece 3, Coburn 3, Portugal 3,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    July 20, 2011
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator still wish to cast a vote or change a vote? if not, on the motion to table, the yeas are 69. the nays are 30. and the motion to table is agreed to.
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the substitute amendment as amended is agreed to. the clerk will read the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 91, h.r. 2055, an act making appropriations for military construction, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the question is on the passage of the bill. mr. johnson: mr. president, i'd like to yield to senator kirk for any remarks he may have. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. would the senator from illinois suspend for one moment while we get order in the chamber, so that he can be heard. a senator wishes to be heard, and i would appreciate the courtesy of order in the senate chamber so that the senator may be heard.
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please proceed. mr. kirk: i just remind members we're now moving to final passage on our first appropriations bill of this congress. it has been two years since the senate has passed a separate free-standing appropriations bill. but this is a bipartisan measure. it is marked to the house budget level, the paul ryan budget. we made difficult decisions, cutting 24 separate military construction programs. we denied the veteran court of appeals new building, and we came in below the president, about $1.2 billion bloat president, $620 million below last year and even $2.6 million below the house-passed bill. this is the bill that takes care of over 22 million veterans and our military construction needs. i want to thank chairman johnson for his work as we get the appropriations committee going again in a bipartisan way. with that, i yield back to the chairman. mr. johnson: mr. president, shortly we will be voting on
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final passage of the milcon v.a. appropriations bill. i would like to thank leaders reid and mcconnell and chairman inouye and vice chairman cochran for leadership and support in getting us to this point. i especially would like to thank my ranking member, senator kirk, for his cooperation and support in crafting this bill through the senate. i'm confident that we would not be where we are today without his help and hard work on this bill. i also thank my colleagues for helping us to move this bill forward, for rejecting dilatory amendments and showing restraint in offering amendments to this bill. a number of senators have filed amendments that are very important to them but also controversial or not relevant to the bill. i appreciate their willingness
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to postpone debate on some of those issues so as not to bog down this bill. for example, i know that senators wyden and warner feel -- mrs. boxer: the senate is not in order. johns johns i know -- mr. johnson: i know senators wyden and warner feel strong about their amendments regarding a navy carrier on the east coast. i know other senators have equally strong feelings on this subject. i understand that the defense authorization bill includes a provision in the report on this issue, and i appreciate the willingness of both delegations to postpone the debate so we can focus on timely passage of this appropriations bill. mr. president, i also thank the subcommittee staff who do the heavy lifting and the drafting
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and managing of the bill on the floor. as i have said many times, this is a good bill. it is bipartisan, and it is responsible. i urge all of my colleagues to support it. mr. kirk: i want to thank dave schiapo on the floor for guiding this, vice chairman cochran and his staff director bruce evans. i want to thank tina reference evans, dennis balkam and patrick magnuson who brought this first appropriations bill of this congress through. with that i thank the chair. mr. johnson: i ask for the yeas and nays on this bill. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator still wish to vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 97, the nays are 2 and the bill, as amended, is passed. the senate insists on its amendment and requests a conference with the house on the disagreeing votes of the two houses. the chair appoints conferees, which the clerk will report. the clerk: senators johnson of south dakota, inouye, landrieu, murray, reed of rhode island, nelson of nebraska, pryor, tester, leahy, kirk, hutchison, mcconnell, murkowski, blunt, hoeven, coats, cochran. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: first of all, i want to express my appreciation to the chairman of the committee, the ranking member of the committee, subcommittee, for the work they did on this bill.
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it took a little longer than we wanted but we got it done and they have been excellent managers of this most important piece of legislation. it's our first appropriation bill. senator mcconnell and i want to do other appropriation bills. it would be a new day here to get these bills rather than having some big omnibus bill. so this is a step in the right direction. again, i express my appreciation to the two managers of this legislation. as indicated, there will be no roll call votes today. more roll call votes today. tomorrow i'm going to move to proceed to the bill that we call the cut, cap bill received from the house today. under the rules of the senate, a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the bill will occur on saturday. i expect a cloture vote sometime saturday before lunch time. i'm committed to allowing a fair and full debate on this bill. i want the proponents and opponents to have time to air their views. if proponents of the bill decide they would like to vote sooner, if they would let me know, i would appreciate that and we'll
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try to work something out. there may be efforts made to try to advance that vote by others but as far as i'm concerned, we should have a full and fair debate on this matter and i look forward to that. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, if i may? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: let me just echo the remarks of the majority leader with regard to the chairman and the ranking members of this subcommittee. they've done a fine job on this. i particularly want to commend senator kirk, who served around here the last couple of years. it's truly remarkable, we've actually passed an appropriation bill. we passed it at a level where it's likely to be conferenced successfully with the house of representatives. so i congratulate both senators and in particular our new senator from illinois. i also share the view of the majority leader, we should have a vigorous debate over cut, cap and balance. and look forward to being here saturday to vote to proceed to that bill. mr. reid: mr. president, i would note the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. i ask thmr. reid: mr. presidentk the call of the quorum, terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid reid: mr. president i k unanimous consent we proceed to morning business with senators allowed to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. kirk: mr. president, i ask to suspend the quorum call and speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kirk: mr. president, i just want to once again extend my thanks to chairman johnson. this bill passed now by a vote of 97-2. it is the first appropriations bill separately passed by the senate since november of 2009. it represents a substantial achievement of bipartisan
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cooperation between the majority and minority. it meets the needs of our over 22 million veterans and the military construction needs of the army, navy, air force and allied services around the world. i'm very happy that the senate has begun working again on separate appropriations bills. i really want to commend our chairman, chairman inouye, and our vice chairman, chairman cochran, for getting this moving forward, as well as the leadership staff. and my only hope is that further subcommittees can bring other bills, and so as chairman johnson and i have done, to return regular order to the senate and its appropriations process. and with that, i yield back and would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senate presently is in a quorum call. mr. thune: i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i also ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy with the senator from new hampshire. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i've been coming down to the floor to -- now for several weeks to talk about the need to restrain spending and to cut our deficit, and as we look at the next few days, we're going to have an opportunity to debate -- to debate something that does that.
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we're going to be talking about the cut, cap and balance plan. the third part of this plan, the balanced budget amendment, something i've supported since i first ran for the house of representatives about 15 years ago. this past week, though, i received a letter from a boy scout in south dakota who was writing in to earn a merit badge. and i'd like to read an excerpt from that letter. this is what he said, mr. president -- and i quote -- "i feel that the federal government needs a balanced budget. if we don't, the debt gets larger each year. i feel that there are two solutions for this. in our house, we are careful to only spend what my mom and dad earn. the needs come first and what is left is for wants. many times we were told "no" when we asked for something. with my allowance and lawn mowing money, i divided between donations, saving and spending. i can't spend more than i make." and i think there are two very powerful things in this statement, mr. president. the first is that the need for a
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balanced budget is obvious, even to this young man. because, like him, we cannot spend more than we make. the second is that this has a profound impact on the younger generation. the debts that we're running up now will have profound impacts on our children and our grandchildren. i have -- the senator from new hampshire is on the floor today and she is someone who is fairly new to the senate but has already had an immediate impact on many of these budget and spending debates. she is also the mother of two young children, each of whom is carrying a $46,000 debt. and i would just ask the senator from new hampshire about those two young children and the $46,000 burden that has been placed on them by this $14.3 trillion national debt that we have. do you feel comfortable having your children owning essentially $46,000 of this massive national debt that we've accumulated now for the past several years?
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ms. ayotte: well, i thank my colleague from south dakota. this is such an important issue, as you pointed out, as your constituent has written you. this -- as the mother of two children, i'm deeply concerned with what is going to happen to the next generation if we continue to kick this can down the road and if we don't use common sense to balance our budget. un, it's funny, when you go back home, you hear from people. i know i've heard from my constituents in new hampshire. i'm sure you hear the same in south dakota that basically only in washington would the notion of balancing your budget be called extreme or something el else. i mean, it's common sense that you can't spend more money than you have. and i think that we need to make sure that we pass this cut, cap and balance plan because it's a commonsense plan for how we could raise the debt ceiling and ensure that we don't continue
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along this cycle of continuing to increase our credit and not have a plan to pay our bills. and borrowing money from china? that's got to stop. when you think about all the money we've borrowed from a country like china, that doesn't share our values. well, this cut, cap and balance plan is right -- right now, there is no other plan that has been presented. it was just passed by the house of representatives on a bipartisan basis and we could do this now and put ourselves on a path to a balanced budget and make sure that your constituent -- i know that you're a father as well -- that our children don't bear the burden of our failure to make the real decisions today and continue to kick this can down the road. we owe it not only to everyone in our generation but to our children and our grandchildren. i wanted to ask the senator from south dakota, the cut, cap and
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balance plan puts an emphasis on cutting spending instead of raising taxes to bring down our deficits and our $14 trillion debt. do you believe that's the right approach for america? mr. thune: well, absolutely, and i would say to my -- my colleague from new hampshire that the cut, cap and balance approach is the correct way to approach this problem because it focuses on spending. it makes cuts to spending today, real cuts this year to this year's budget. it caps spending in the near term and then it puts in place a balanced budget amendment that would require congress to balance its budget in the future years. now, obviously that's a -- that's something that many states have. my state of south dakota has that. i know that the live free or die state of new hampshire has a very -- had some very distinct views and direct views about the role of government in making government's role limited and keeping spending under control, living within your means.
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and this cut, cap and balance approach to that, in my view, is the correct approach because it does put the -- the emphasis on getting spending under control. and if you look at the five times that our country's balanced the budget since 1969, the average amount that we spent was just under 18.7% of our g.d.p. in other words, of our entire economy. this this year, we're set to spend 24.3% of our g.d.p. that's just on the federal government. and historic highs. if you look at the president's budget, he spends substantially above this average for every year in his budget. you literally have to go back to the end of world war ii to find a time when we spent this amount as a percentage of our g.d.p. on the federal government. a part of the reason for this is the huge increase we have seen in nondefense discretionary spending between 2008-2010. in fact, those two years in which the economy was hurting and families everywhere were having to cut back, these
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accounts increased by a mind-boggling 24%. now, this year, part of our deficit is also caused by low tax receipts which are caused by a slow economic recovery, but if you look at the tax revenue that we brought in in 2006 and 2007, we brought in over 18% of g.d.p. in both years. so if we're able to constrain spending, we know that we're going to be able to balance our budget once our economy improves, and i would argue one of the ways that we help our economy improve and get back on track is to get federal spending under control. 2006 and 2007, the income tax code, the way that we collect taxes, is very similar to what we have today. we brought in over 18% of g.d.p. in both of those years, so when we get back to a more normal, i think, footing in terms of the economy, we will see revenues start to come back but we have got to get spending controlled and actually start to rein in the out-of-control spending that
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we're seeing here in washington, d.c. if there is still a gap, even if we get back to 18% of g.d.p. in terms of what we collect in the form of tax receipts, there are still 23%, 24%, 25% of g.d.p. that the president wants to be compromised of federal spending. the gap cannot be met through tax increases. it's going to have to be dealt with through spending restraint. now, a couple of years ago -- i want to get back to my colleague from new hampshire in just a moment, but i want -- her predecessor in this job, senator gregg from new hampshire who was a -- who has a great fiscal mind around here, somebody who is very focused on spending and debt, he and congressman ryan asked the congressional budget office to estimate how high tax rates would have to rise to pay for our projected spending. c.b.o.'s response had two parts. first, they said that marginal rates would have to more than double to cover the expected expenditures of our government. they said and i quote -- "the
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tax rate for the lowest tax bracket would have to be increased from 10% to 25%. the tax rate on incomes in the current 25% bracket would have to be increased to 63%, and the tax rate at the highest bracket would have to be raised from 35% to 88%. the top corporate tax rate would also increase from 45% to 88%." that's in response to an inquiry from senator gregg and congressman ryan about what tax rates would have to do in order to get our budget back into balance. now, the other thing that the c.b.o. also said that practically speaking, this is impossible. you cannot increase tax rates and create this huge disincentive that would have a profound impact on our economy and our ability to create jobs. and so we know that that amount of revenue would never be collected when you raise tax rates that high. we know that the real way to deal with the budget and to get spending -- to get the budget
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balanced and under control in this country is to get spending under control. and so the cut, cap and balance approach is something that i think is the correct way in which to proceed because it puts that focus on spending. we need to make sure we constrain spending, we need to be sure we begin living within our means. the cut, cap and balance approach does that. i want to make one observation about that. there are people who have said the balanced budget amendment that has been proposed by the republicans is too draconian, it won't work. what the cut, cap and balance plan says, it doesn't specify or prescribe a specific balanced budget amendment. it says a balanced budget amendment. and i think that my colleagues on this side would have been more than happy to work with our colleagues on the other side to come up with a balanced budget amendment that actually would work that would ensure that we don't spend more than we take in each and every year, which is what every -- almost every state in the country has in their constitution and that's why they are able to live within their means. i would say to my colleague from new hampshire, you recently
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held, i'm told, a town hall meeting back in new hampshire. i'm interested in knowing what your constituents had to say because i think new hampshire has always been a good barometer when it comes to fiscal issues. what do they think about this crisis that we're facing and do they -- do they believe that the way that we ought to deal with this would be to -- to constrain spending and to get our budget balanced in that way as opposed to moving toward raising taxes, which is what many of our colleagues on the democrat side and the president have suggested doing? ms. ayotte: well, i thank you. what i have certainly heard from my constituents, in new hampshire we do have a requirement that we balance our budget. it's not easy to make those tough choices, but that is what i have heard from my constituents. they don't understand why in washington there is controversy over the notion of balancing your budget because at home people are balancing their budget, families balance their
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budget, businesses balance their budgets. i meet with business people and they just look at me in disbelief when they say i don't understand why in washington they don't look at what you have to spend and base that -- base your -- what you are going to do in washington based on what money you have. it really comes down to common sense. and one of the biggest issues i have heard from my constituents that they are concerned about is that it's been almost over two years, 800 days, over 800 days since we have passed a budget in the united states senate, and the notion that we have been operating without a budget and running well over trillion dollar deficits and haven't sat down and done the hard work of rolling up our sleeves, allowing the budget committee to do its work, i think people are astounded by that in new hampshire because they understand that if you don't have a basic blueprint for our
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country on how they are going to spend money, the end result is what we have gotten, is continuing to run up deficits, it is continuing to spend money that we don't have, continuing to borrow from countries like china that don't share our values. and one of the things that is very important about this cut, cap and balance plan is that it cuts $111 billion in fiscal year 2012, and it places firm caps on future spending contingent upon the house and senate passing a balanced budget amendment which is so important, as we have talked about, to let's let the states decide. really, this is about sending it to the people of this country and allowing them to say whether or not we should balance our budget. i know what the answer will be in new hampshire. they will say yes, please balance the budget. this also, if you look at where we are with, as you have mentioned, with respect to spending in terms of the size of our economy, you know, we're
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over 24% of our g.d.p. that we are spending right now, well above our historical level, well above the amount of money that we're bringing in, and yet the only fiscal plan that the president brought forward would massively increase our debt over the next decade, so much so that not even one person, one member of his own party in the united states senate would vote for that budget, and so when we talk about real plan to get america back on track, this cut, cap and balance has a very commonsense approach. we will cut spending right away, put together a responsible fiscal plan for america, then make sure that we have those caps in place so that we don't continue to spend close to 24%, 25% of our economy knowing that this is well beyond -- i mean, the president has increased our debt 35% since he has been in
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office. and then finally, let's put to the states the question of whether they think it makes sense to balance our budget because i think we know what the answer will be there, that they will say yes, please balance your budget like we have to do at home, like we do in state government. the other issue that we're facing right now is, of course, what the rating agencies have said about our failure to handle this fiscal crisis. we have heard about the concerns that if we do not come up with a credible plan that really cuts spending right now, that we have our ratings threatened, that this will further impact our economy, and that's why we can't continue to put this decision off. and this cut, cap and balance right now will put forward forward $6 trillion of cuts over the next decade that will make sure that we preserve our
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rating, credit ratings for this country, will make sure that we focus on economic growth to get people back to work, because if we raise taxes the way that c.b.o. has suggested based on the questions from senator gregg and congressman ryan, we know that that's going to hurt the american taxpayer, it's going to hurt our job creators in this country. i also happen to come from a small business family, and i know that the impact on raising taxes and the way it was described if we had to raise taxes to address the spending problem that we have in washington, it is going to hurt our small businesses who create the jobs in this country, and that's the last thing we should be doing when we have over a 9% unemployment rate. so i hope that my colleagues will pass this cut, cap and balance plan right away. the house has passed it, and we
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can raise the debt ceiling with a responsible plan to cut spending right away, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment going to the states. i would ask my colleague from south dakota, when you were first elected before you served in the senate, i know that you had a career in the house of representatives and served the people of south dakota there. there was a vote on the balanced budget amendment at the time in the senate, and it only failed by one vote. what do you believe our current fiscal situation would be had the balanced budget amendment passed the senate at that time? mr. thune: you know, what's remarkable about that is when i first got here -- and we did -- there was a vote in the united states senate in 1997. we didn't have the opportunity to vote on it in the house of representatives, although i think we could have passed it with a two-thirds majority there at the time because it failed in the senate by one vote. it got 66 votes in the senate of the united states, it needed 67. i can't help but think how different things would be today
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had we passed the balanced budget amendment then, sent it to the states. i presume as you do -- and i'm sure new hampshire is not unlike south dakota -- would certainly ratify it. you need 38 states to ratify it, but it would have put us on a path that is fiscally sustainable. and ironically, at that time the debt was about $5 trillion. we're talking about $14 trillion today. $5 trillion is what it was back then. so that's a $9 trillion increase. if we had had a balanced budget amendment, we wouldn't have run up this debt. now, it's interesting because i would point out to my colleague from new hampshire, too, that if you go back 29 years ago this week, president reagan led a rally of people, thousands of people on the -- on the capitol calling for a balanced budget amendment, and he said, and i quote -- "crisis is a much-abused word today, but can we deny that we face a crisis?
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"end quote. i would say to my colleague from new hampshire that the federal debt at that time was was $1 trillion, and president reagan thought that was a crisis at that time, and obviously we're in a situation now where the debt is 14 times that amount, $14 trillion since president reagan 29 years ago suggested that we need a balanced budget amendment because of the debt crisis that we faced then. now, a lot of our democrat colleagues say we just need to balance our budget, we don't need a balanced budget amendment. my response to them is that as the senator from new hampshire has pointed out where is your plan. we have been sitting here now for 812 case since the democrats passed a budget in the senate and even then that was a budget that didn't balance. tnts budget as he submitted earlier this year was rejected by the senate 97-0. when the president sent a budget up here, it was actually voted on in the senate, it didn't get a single vote in the united states senate, either democrat or republican, so the president took a mulligan on that budget,
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gave a speech outlining the framework for how he would cut the deficit. that didn't balance either. so it's clear that the democrats don't have the will to balance the budget now, but if we had a balanced budget amendment, they would along with all of us, republicans and democrats have all contributed to where we are today, but they would be required to balance the budget every single year, and that would have a huge impact on what our future is going to look like and what the future for your two children, my two children is going to be. now, the rating agencies are considering, as the senator from new hampshire mentioned, downgrading us if we don't take concrete steps to reduce our deficits. it would have a tremendous impact on interest rates if that happened. now, as i mentioned earlier today, the three-year government bond interest rates for portugal are 19.4%, for greece 28.9% and for ireland 12.9%. and we are already suffering from slower economic growth because of our debt and
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deficits. there is a study by economists reinhart and rogoff that found that debt levels above 90% of g.d.p. were associated with economic growth that were one percentage point than it would be otherwise and we know from the president's own economic advisors that that translates into the loss of about a million jobs every year. and so it's clear that we need to cut spending now, we need to balance our budget, we need a discipline imposed on congress. a balanced budget amendment would do that like it has done for so many states around the country, but the cut, cap and balance approach, cutting spending, as the senator from new hampshire mentioned now, today, by over $100 billion this year, cutting spending over the next decade by almost almost $6 trillion and then putting in place a balanced budget amendment that would ensure that going forward into the future that we learn to live within our means, that we don't continue to spend money that we don't have. an and so i appreciate the observations of my colleague
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from new hampshire. as is, you represent a -- as i said, you represent a state that has a great tradition when it comes to keeping spending and government under control. we need that tradition here in washington, d.c., and i would simply say to my colleague from new hampshire, i hope that we can find the support among our colleagues here in the united states senate when we have this vote and it sounds like now it's going to be scheduled for sometime on saturday, to get a big bipartisan vote in support of cut, cap and balance. i know that that's what my colleague from new hampshire hopes as well because i do believe it is the pathway that will get us toward fiscal sustainability for the future of this country and put us on a trajectory that is good for our children and grandchildren, doesn't put this nation on the verge of bankruptcy, doesn't have the -- the adverse economic impacts that we're experiencing in real times -- realtime, both in terms of jobs loss, potential for much higher interest rates that would affect homeowners, people trying to get student loans, auto loans, people who
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are trying to start businesses. it would be absolutely devastating to this economy if that happened, if we don't get our fiscal house in order, that is the train wreck that we are headed for. ms. ayotte: i thank my colleague from south dakota, and i, too, hope that we will have bipartisan support for this cut, cap and balance plan. it is so critical. and as the president's own fiscal commission said, our challenge is clear and inescapable. america cannot be great if we go broke. our businesses will not be able to grow and create jobs and our workers will not be able to compete successfully for the jobs for the future without a plan to get this crushing debt burden off our backs. well, this cut, cap and balance plan will help get this crushing debt burdens off our backs, to allow our job creators to get out there, our small businesses to create jobs. also, when you think about starting from where we began this discussion, our children,
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we have to act now. and i will tell you, i don't want my two children looking at me and saying, "mom, what did you do about this crisis that we saw and was so foreseeable that we could do something about right here now in the united states senate to address if we can come together around this cut, cap and balance plan and once and for all let's commit to passing a balanced budget amendment. let's send that question to the states. let's let the people of this country weigh in because they will weigh in with common sense, because they do it at the state level, they do it at a family level, they do it in their small businesses. so i, too, happy to we will work with our -- so i, too, hope that we will work with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, that we will get this cut, cap and balance plan passed, and i look forward to working with all of the senators in this chamber, and particularly the senator from south dakota, who i know has been such an advocate and such a strong fiscal
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conservative, wanting to preserve our country and the greatness of america to make sure that we get this plan passed now. thank you. mr. thune: well, i think our colleagues in the house have shown us the way. they passed this last night. they've given us an opportunity now to have this vote. and it's long overdue. and the problem, as -- at least in my view, and i think the numbers bear this out, this is not a revenue problem. this is not a problem of having too little tax revenue. this is not a problem, as i pointed out, that can be solved by tax increases, which will devastate the job creators in this economy and make it more difficult for our economy to recover and to get people back to work. but this is really about spending. this is about getting federal spending back to a level that is historically normal. and if we can do that, we will have done a great, great i think thing for the future of this country, for our children and grandchildren. and it is so important, in my view, that we not wait any longer.
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we can't afford to way. the time is now and we're going to have this vote coming up here it looks like probably on saturday and i hope that we will have a big bipartisan vote in support of this approach that would cut spending today, cap it in the future and get a balanced budget amendment on the books. mr. president, i yield back the balance of our time.
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a.m. tomorrow, thursday, july 21. that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. when the senate considers the motion to proceed to h.r. 2560, the time until 2:00 p.m. be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders their designees. senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each, with the
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republicans controlling the first 30 minutes and the majority controlling the next 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, tomorrow morning the majority leader will move -- that's me -- to proceed to h.r. 2560, the -- that's the h.r. 2560. there will be a full debate on this bill. we'll decide how much time is
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needed. we'll work on this as we proceed forward. if all the time is used, we'll vote saturday morning on this. if there's no further business to com come before the senate, k that we adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> a special task force created to investigate the japanese nuclear disaster presented its findings to the regulatory commission tuesday. it includes recommendations for improving backup power systems in nuclear plants. they urged the agency to complete consideration of new safety regulations within 90
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days adding that the industry would have five years to implement any new regulations. >> well, thanks, everybody, for sticking around. i think we had a good productive meeting. we heard from the task force on the recommendations they've made, and i think you heard and saw the commission's strong interest in the issues brought forward by the task force, and i look forward to the commission working through those issues in a very timely way. as i've said, i think we can accomplish that in 90 days and give charlie and his team an answer on the recommendations and whether we agree or disagree and how we intend to move forward. with that, i'll be happy to take any questions you have. >> mr. chairman, you already received a letter last week representing the nuclear
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industry perspective that issues relating to the framework, specifically recommendation 1.1 that we just heard about, should be taken out of the consideration of the direct lessons learned from fukushima and addressed through normal processes. is it appropriate to consider that a path forward? we heard from gary that those recommendations are integral, at least i think that's what he was saying. >> i think that's a great discussion for the commission to have in a meeting, and i think it'd be a great thing to have industry stake holders at the table, members of the task force there to have a discussion about that to see exactly how we should best deal with that particular recommendations. i've proposed that, and i hope that that's something they'll be interested in doing. >> what happened now? will there be a vote on your
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plan for the 90 [laughter] -- 90-day review. >> the commission has in front of it the task force before it as a voting manner. i'd like to see them take the steps to vote. there's 12 recommendations in there. we'll have a series of meetings to discuss in more detail and hear from other stakeholders, including some members of the staff. i think that will be a good way to move forward providing a reasonable approach to really give the proper, you know, respect to the work that charlie and his force did. i think they did a really tremendous job in a very difficult and challenging situation. beyond that, you know, we then have asked -- the commission asked for a longer term review to continue to work and that
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right now under the commission's direction is something to reevaluate. i think the intent of the longer term review is it incorporates more refined information coming from japan. i think we can wait a couple months to begin that effort, and so that's something we'll talk about, but, you know, it's very easy to get caught up in the process and how we do things, but we have 12 solid recommendations, and i think the thing to do is agent on those in 90 days, and the commission has ample processes for it to do that, and i look forward to getting to that point. >> mr. chairman, this idea that the now voluntary smg should be regulatory, that the line between design bases and design
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is under emphasized. would you say that's a major restructuring of the way the commission does business, and are you for it or against it? >> well, i might ask charlie to maybe explain that recommendation in a little bit more detail, and he can tell you i think he's for it because they recommended it. [laughter] >> yeah, i can confirm the task force is for it. [laughter] yeah, i think what we really came to there was that voluntary initiatives have their place in their good, but what we found was that in the case of smg's, it was a voluntary initiative that we found, you know, as part of the task force deliberations, we asked that the nrc inspectors go out and survey the industry and the plants to see about the implementation about them. what we found is all plants have severe accident management guidelines, however, we found the implementation of that and maintenance of that varied, and also as we mentioned in the task
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force meeting that these did not really get any regulatory oversight because they were voluntary initiatives. we, the task force, feel that there's important attributes of the safety, and therefore, they ought to have a higher pedigree. >> would that constitute a major restructuring? that and the major idea beyond design basis and design basis is a meaningless distinction. does that constitute a major reorganization of the way you do business? >> let me address your question to give you clarity. i think there's a lot of misinterpretation of design basis and beyond design basis. we, as a task force, sort of believe the word "beyond design basis" is a bit of a misnomer. in some people's mind it constitutes the thought process if it's beyond thought basis, it's not in the design. we have designs currently for
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items beyond the design basis and they are included in the design. we look at it as an extension of the design basis for those very low probability high consequence events that could cause a severe accident in those situations. looking at that, it should be integrated into our requirements in a fashion that is stable and that the agency have a policy and a way to go about doing that where historically as we pointed out, we've done that in a patchwork manner. an accident happens, we recognized what happened, and we try to run and fix what happened. as gary pointed out in the meeting today that there's some instances where we looked at it pretty much like this for that incident and didn't necessarily look at what other aspects of that should be considered so we kind of think of design basis
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from our perspective as the design basis and you can use whatever term you want to extend a design basis or design basis extension, but those two together in our view should be the fabric of our regulatory framework. >> comment on that too, and i think charlie did a good job of explaning it. from my perspective, i've been on the commission for six years, and i saw this as interpreting their recommendation and recognition of what we've already done in trying to just better clarify around the edges what is already evidence, namely, there are things the commission thought are necessary to be regulatory requirements, and we've almost done it -- weave done it in a -- we've done it without necessarily looking to see how that fits overall in the hole. i don't see this as that much of a change in the overall regulatory structure. you look at what they recommended. hardened vents. that's something they already use at all mark i's and mark
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2's. they indicated the recognition that they would move forward with some kind of order action if others didn't do it. you look at station blackout, there's already a station blackout rule. ..
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i think it's important to have those deliberations in meetings. i think as you saw today, as they always see when the commission gets together, they are incredibly talented and dedicated people in this commission. in the process of hearing and discuss them with my colleague is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job. and i'm always found to have that kind of public and people get to see the quality of this commission and the thoughtfulness that the decisions that they make. >> go beyond design based and they talked about that in japan they did not get the data. should there be more study and review in the united states about whether it's earthquake risk, flood risk -- they don't
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get into a lot of hard-core data in this report. at what point are you going to do that? >> as i said, right now within the commission is these recommendations. in these recommendations is a recommendation that we look at ensuring our design basis for this external hazards are appropriate. now, what i want to see the commission do in 90 is make a recommendation. if the commission adopts it too late for additional work, for instance and order required to do that come will have to work out details of the order and ultimately how we implement that. we are at a very early stage right now, but it's clearly something the task force spoke to and i and i think really is spot on that we want to make sure we understand the design thesis. we'll match the situation we do within this country right now in the midwest to the flooding had two nuclear power plants. those funding levels are higher than we have seen in some time.
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for both of the plants they do it, they are below the level of the plants were designed to, that they are getting close and they were those levels. we don't anticipate them to get there. so it is clearly a recognition that sometimes mother nature to think that as we didn't anticipate. periodically as the task force recommended every 10 years or so we should re-examine on a consistent basis to ensure that we are learning from the best available techniques with a better understand the phenomenon of our climax of the plants in the appropriate way. it doesn't mean i casey's plans will change things, but it means we are reviewing in the team added semantically. >> for mr. miller, any i've said one case the task force reliance -- the task force said the reliance on risk undervalued the safety benefits of defense in depth and nei took exception to that. i wonder if you think there's a misunderstanding on the part of
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what the task force member is a real disagreement between the task force and industry imap client? >> i'd have to let nei speak for themselves with regard to their views. from our debt, from the task force perspective, we believe, for instance, depth first that did come you don't want to rely on risk only. risk is an opportunity to get your information and shouldn't use size as part of a regulatory decision-making process. the defense in depth, as they try to emphasize his very important match or beat them there certain aspects to really take a look at from a deterministic respect it, not a probabilistic tests and combining the two together to make regulatory decisions in an integrated matter is the message that we are trying to give. in some cases, you can use
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probability to say that there is a very low, low likelihood of an event. what we are concerned about attacks sources for these very low likelihood of things that they don't cause a catastrophe has happened in japan. so we think the best way to do that is to be able to use the current science as it's developing going forward in doing that. with regard to the industry, it may or may not be in disagreement on that. we simply, as the task force had not been not cited psychiatric industry. and sure as we move forward as an agency, there will be opportunities are all stakeholders to get their perspectives with regard to that. >> just a follow-up, an example of how the rov use of risk did in fact undervalued defense in depth, with and example? >> all real estate the example
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and we clarify. the management guidelines we talked about being a voluntary initiative. nevertheless, the agency is really counting on those as a defense in depth philosophy such that if he really did have a bad day come bad day come you at these guidelines you could go to to get consequences of the severe action. well, being that it is a voluntary initiative, the nrc hasn't inspected it or given very little attention. and so, i think we found to be a first veteran actors did to get some information for us. some of our licensees did a great job of maintaining and have been training them. some dated the third certain great job in the semi-voluntary initiative, they could different levels of attention in different places. we just offer something of that nature, it lends itself from a defense in depth perspective to
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meeting regulatory attention. you can't just sign a probability to the because in that case if you're in a situation where you have a bad day, you've exceeded the probability of that happening. it is in. >> i think it is an important emphasize that as an agency we are not a based agency and the philosophy the commission has never been to the rest face. namely, don't look straight at the numbers to make a decision based on the numbers. we are at risk in front agency, which means this and the commission of a policy statement from 1985 with a lay the philosophy out there that risk is an important and political tool, but a complement in principle, things like defense and that in some of the other regulatory philosophies we use an employee. so it is not -- again, i don't think i've ever that this report there is anything here that is that now or really bad novel. but he shows to be stating that
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something we appreciate, that we can't always calculate everything perfectly and sometimes we have use their judgment and insight to account for that. and that is kind of what the commission on solid outcome in making those decisions and having to wait those different factors in coming up at the right answer for safety. the mac >> as for nuclear licensing the recommendations come at there a situation where that may affect the schedules for issuing ceo of or can this be implemented after they are issued? >> also made the commission is decimated these recommendations first. right now the commission is planning on holding mandatory hearing meetings for two of the col applications, one in mid-september, the other early october. i think will be in a much better position if we have a clearly
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delineated but we think is a commission about those 12 recommendations. it is possible for the commission to move forward as i do that, but i think the recommendations of the task force, the clearly delineate some things they need to be addressed. and, you know, some of the timing can be after licensing them for operation. from a clarity perspective, it's important for everyone to understand when the commission is making a final decision on licensing, what exactly we think of the recommendations in the japan task force. if the issues are resolved, it will be difficult for the commission to explain why were moving forward with a new reactor licensing. again, it does not mean we will have resolved all the issues and have been implemented, but the commission will vote on which of the tall but agrees that there disagrees with her wants to modify and get some specifics about the limitation.
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>> i have a question about the spent fuel issue, which he talked a little about during the briefing. it sounded like he was saying the important thing was to take the stand feel what i'm moving it to try tasks or anything else was not something the task force should get into. that may or may not be a significant expense for industry and a lot of environmental groups would say that schools are overcrowded as they are now. so even if you keep the initial fuel spent what company we should move the older feel to the tasks. can you dress can you dress up a little bit? was that something you considered at all? >> thank you for your question. yes, it was something we considered and what we found was there was no safety benefit from moving the old feel out. it doesn't mean that it's a decision licensees want to make you would be the wrong decision. it wouldn't be.
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fuel that is stored in try tasks is stored in a safe manner. as you probably know, the nrc oversees that. cask designs have to be approved in the nrc. the recommendations we have given the commission is endorsed by the commission would provide additional mechanisms to assure the culpability of the fuel and the pool and they believe that would be the next safety benefit. we think you can get -- for lack of a better word, more bang for your buck by doing that because it would allow the continued cool ability of the new fuel as well as the older fuel. as i mentioned in the briefing, and he heat content would be. so part of the scenarios people have envisioned with regard to that and part of the initial thinking before we have a little more information on the
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fukushima was that the pools that so they went dry come the fuel got very hot, started what is known as the current and fire gave releases. we find out more now that that was probably not likely the case. but we don't know completely until the japanese have an opportunity to get in and inspect it more. so really what we looked at as if he takes in hand safety precautions to keep the fuel cool in the pools, you have provided the safety needed for the future. >> brain tracy with dow jones. i just want to ask you something about station blackouts quickly. mr. miller, could you talk about what you saw, from japan i think one of the criticisms i have heard is there's not enough information and so when you get to make any specific recommendation like eight hours or 72 hours -- could you give a little more detail about what you saw so far into fukushima to know about that.
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mr. chairman, when used the word appropriate of that rulemaking, i or what fuming is appropriate to do a rulemaking or to adapt it. could you just clarify that? >> with regard to the station blackouts, the insights we got from saturday we didn't really need more information as we go on to craft our insights into our recommendation. first, you had a very extended station blackouts at fukushima that went on for a matter of days. i station blackouts was caused by an external offense, earthquake followed by a tsunami. so you had a natural disaster that affected multiple units and put the multiple units in a station blackouts for an extended period of time. and the united states, one reformulated the station blackouts roll, that going in assumption is that you would give power back, either externally or internally in a
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period of time that was much shorter that was experienced at fukushima. and so come in the united states are current regulation doesn't really reflect upon an external event that could take out both internal power, meaning the diesel generators and the external power, which is the outside power at the same time. so that was the insanely guy. and recommendations required to station blackout, so that you can survive the longer period of time, we believe it is in three parts as he said.eight hours on and 72 hours by using portable equipment on site. and that we feel within 72 is in the united states, given our infrastructure we could get out there to be able to extend the ability to produce on-site power, using portable means within 72 hours. so that was the nature of the way we look to data and move forward. i'll let the treatment speak to
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the other. >> i think this is a fairly straightforward one. perhaps i could throw this is a no-brainer category in terms of adopting this recommendation. i mean, it is one i'll take work as a regulation to work through, but it is certainly one of this when i feel comfortable supporting. clearly, i think it's really laid down in the meeting, this was an underlying theme. this was fundamentally, as the task force had come to a prolonged force event. and clearly, there are changes we need to make in her station blackout requirements. so this is what i am very comfortable endorsing right now. again, the commission will have to make that decision, but as one personally i feel comfortable with. >> thank you pre-match. [inaudible] >> some of you have expressed an interest in talking to charlie later. if you would like my office know who you are, i will see whether i can get something set up, maybe a roundtable.
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charlie is very shortly going to be answering to a higher authority. the lady who does the honey do list at his house and the golf courses, so please let us know quickly and we will see what we can work out. thanks. [inaudible conversations] senators today discussed federal spending and the ongoing negotiations over raising the here's part of the floorobje de. it's 45 minutes. outme of >> mr. president, thank you
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pre-match. in my view, something significant happened yesterday in the house of representatives. i am pleased that the outcome of we passage of s cuert,io uscapd balance. i think we have a serious responsibility here in the united state congress to see t that we address the economic circumstances we find ourselves then. certainly, the way we do that is important.re i am one who believes that would be irresponsible not to address cue debtadequate ceiling.the ecr but he also believed it would be irresponsible only to address the debt ceiling withoutre adequately taking into accountti the economic circumstances wes e are then in the tremendous debt that our country there is no way that we can continue down the path that we are on. through i make accusations come at theaftr reality is that this country, through its congress and various administrations have overspent a year after year after year.t the fact that 42 cents of every
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dollar that we spend is now wee borrowed tells us that we cannot continue down that path. a one of my town hall meetings this weekend -- this past do weekend back in kansas come then suggestion was we are willing to takeoard reduction a cut and whe get from government, but let's e do this in a fair way and was tt an across-the-board reduction i, federal spending. and the suggestion by the constituent was well, maybe if we all took 5% of what, f we received, we'd be fine. well, i appreciate the attitude, but it fails to recognize the magnitude of the problem.umstant across the boardwi will not geto out of the financialust circumstance we are in, will not restore fiscal sanity to ourcei nation. and so, w vhile we are about t between now and august the second, seeing what we can do to raise the debt ceiling in my view we have to come together with a plan that addresses thead
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long-term financial condition of our federal government. i am a supporterbr of cut, cap d balance in the pleased by the breath support the legislation received in the house.dits who this may understand we will nowo consider the legislation in the senaten this week, but i alreay read that price report and is dead on arrival in the senate. n i would encourage my colleaguest not to reach that w conclusion. they may be thee only one path t have to succeed in gettinghe accomplished what we need to accomplish in the next two weekverys. of the -- if not the only one og the few measures that passed the house of representatives.ime we have not received in theill p senate a message that this isntt something we are willingha to d. for a long time i've been told e as a senator there is nothing that passed the house ofthat tet representatives the raises the debt ceiling and yet we saw last night that wasn't the case.
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so let's not be so quick to saye the senate will not address in potentially pass legislation based upon cut cap and balance.g n cut, cap and balance is radicale extreme. cutting spending is not extreme. that is what every spending family does when the budget gett too tight, with a overspent comt on the credit cards are maxed. we reduce their spending. sympatheti out and see in either race to solve our problems. can our employers are not that sympathetic good we are not be so quick to say we need toa raise. we had to say what can we find 6 that we can reduce an cut. the idea not radical. for the last 60 years, ouruple a country is averaged 18% of the gross national productav in spending by the federal be government. move
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in the last couple of years, thn average has increased to 24%, sg 25%. it would not be radicals who was back to the days in which we atross n were living with 18%, which seems to me to be a significanty percentage. if we go back to the days in. product was spent by the federad government. and finally, balancing the budget is notreregard a radical. not to be regularly and with great regard for this divinely fact inspired document. but the constitution allows form and in fact, it is then utilized to solve many of our country's problems, challenges over the ri time ofre history. and it's not radical, 49 stateso have provisions that requirer gg them to have a balanced budget in some form or another at the end of the year. perhaps of t and so, amending the unitedce states constitution does they were not ever going to get back in the mess we're in today
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ing think i've said the cut capu ord balance provisions,es perhaw it constitutional amendment that is most controversial among my e colleagues. i certainly would express an interest to work with othersstat defend the right constitutional amendment, the right language tm the united states constitution that met theire concerns.uld and so, discard, cap and balanco seems to me to be the path forward in the senate should tht pass a version of cut, cap and e balance to not only about the debt ceiling to be raised, but h allow the debt ceiling to be raised only if we become say its responsible stewards of american taxpayer dollars. i actually have a fourth somponent of cut, cap and balance. it was his cut, cap, balance anw grow.backt the the last time our fiscal house was insulted the, was solvents,n with academe to president
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clinton's administration. leg and apart from republicans and democrats couldn't get along well enough in those days tot spend my money and big programs. there was legislation passed that supported in a bipartisan way by president clinton and republicans in congress to limir spending. there were some spending w the ireality is the last time that our fiscal house in order and were spending less money than we were taking him with a time in which the economy was o growing.g the e if we want to address the issue of balancing our budget, onill b growing the economy, putting people to work and allowing as a create work that the taxes will a be ployer norrect. comfoable i environment in which jobs are is created, which employers feel comfortable in investing in the future c and buying plant equipment and putting people toh work. cnent: and so, while its kites,
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catherine dies today, we need to make certain we don't forget itd might be the fourth component, grow theoe economy. in my view, that means a tax can code that is 13, fair, and it al doesn't change, that isnvironme something that a business person, family can rely upon. it's also regulatory environment that allows businesses to have the opportunity to grow theirssc business. the most common conversation i had with a business owner andioi wnsas, walked into aenator, business that manufactures agriculture equipment in my state, the most common conversation i had how the senah what next is government going to do that puts me out of business? if that's the mindset, how do we reach the cinonclusion they had the faith in the future tofinail invest in the plant equipment we need to make certain that oua financial institutions particularly community banks ar. not hamstrung by significant
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regulations that discourage them frotom making love and createret uncertainty to do that. time so i tax, regulatory environment that says now is the time toly invest in america and put peopls to work. so mr. president, came here tos urge my colleagues to seriously consider, not dismissed at, cape and balance. and upon its passage for us to immediately returned to the progrowth agenda that allows for people to have the faith come to the future of their country's as bright and return us to the opportunity with the next generation of americans can understand the american dream fo can still be lived.ation i think the president for theteo consideration of speaking on the senateor tod i ycoieuldrt todan but myg time. they >> mr. president? the next senator from south impr iving >> mr. president, and appreciate the good words from a caller from kansas. means,f
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he comes that the role of theust government and living withincarc your means is not spending money you don't have and i suspect tho from kansas has had a state long and distinguished career ia public life, but just beforeegiu coming to washington d.c. to had serve in congress also is a state legislature. my guess and he was a member of the legislature in kansas they had to balance their budget se every year and i would ask onese of my colleague, mr. presidentth if he should shed some light mo year in and year out to getng tt their budget balance, to make se sure they're not spending thedei more they take in. that is something to most familo and in my state of southmost stt dakota -- those are decisions they have to grapple with all al the time. you don't always have the luxury er being able to just borrowalsv onre. c most states don't allow that. ol my state of south dakota doesn't allow that. and also certainly not in ouralg
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states probably they raise taxer on people and small businesses, which requires either throughsit the chair as fats the way they went about dealing with their fiscal crisis in the past. >> mr. president, i thank the gentleman from south dakota our states are prohibited and almost always living beyond our means. the kansas legislature and governor is under threat the history of our state, including in today's environment where an economic downturn creates the circumstance in which there ispg less revenues. and so, solution to the problem on kansas is not a cry for moret revenue. it's a recognition spending a difficult time have to be
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reduced. s it is so common in state capitas and families and businesses across the countries. the balance the revenues and nee it's not an enjoyable debate. we are fortunate in kansas weitl have to reach the conclusion that something we need in lik washington d.c. a for a long time the political bo talk of washington as we are tow likely to spend and tax. wha we well, there's also a problem of spending and borrowing and we are now suffering the we are nos immune from what we see in greece and italy and portugal te and ireland. if we do not solve this problem we face today in a responsiblec. way, it will be solved for us bn the markets for those who we we borrow money from determining wo are no longer credit worthy. we don't have to worry so muchht
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in kansas because we have a constitutional provision that requires her legislature and governor to reach the right conclusion and that's why i thought thatlves, thi deba that feeling waselves to do the opportunity for us to force ourselves, this debate on the, t debt ceiling to force ourselves to do the things politicians don't always like to do.rates at thank you,he mr. president.ancet the next mr. president, to theak point is not from kansas was making to me talk about higher interest rates and the impact os not dealing with the circumstance the country finds itself in. you look at what is happening ir europe. a f torhree-year government punn rates are down 18.4% forates portugal, 20.9 per greece and 12.9 for ireland. now, think about the impact in this country. trillio if we have interest rates go adl back to what is a 20 year average, we would see an t additional $5 trillion in going additional borrowing costs inoog the next decade alone.e, that's if we went back to the
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ink a 22-year-old average for this country. not to mention what they'reou looking at in countriest home le europe at these 19%, 20% interest rates. think about auto loans, home loans, student loans, businessyo loans, all those things wen rey t in our economy and families across this country rely on in order to carry on with their r dailysensitiv lives.f we if you look at those interest rates, but the type of interest rate sensitivity and if we don't get our fiscal house in order, we could very well end up latefn many saof these countries and be devastating for our economy.thaa the most important thing we can do right now, mr. president is we need to put policies inbefore place. i am also the cut, cavanaugh'sle proposal before the senate because it does important things. it cut spending today immediately. a cat spending in the near term and puts in place a process by which we balance the budget inrd
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the long-term, a balanced budget amendment. it's interesting to note if you go backhe led historically, i wr mr. president that president ronald reagan said 29 years ago this week.d wor he led a rally of thousands of t people calling for a balanced budget amendment. i quote, christ is a much abuse, word today, the comely tonight we face a crisis, end quote. that is 29 years ago. ouen the federal debt was budgew $1 trillion.literay doubl we face ae dip 14 times as hig, hoe $14 trillion under the president's budget wouldr from literally double in the next oue decade the senator from kansas mentioned this at the governmen% if you go back to 1800 the formation 2% of our total range.
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economy. 24.6% of voters and as our entire economy. it means we are spending more at the federal level in the privatw what we want to see, en mr. president is an expansion or the private economy where wenm t policies in place that enable job creators to create jobs and make it the federalt government smaller, not larger.e govent my view is when you look at a debt crisis like we are in this country you make government smaller. you get the private economy growing and expanding and creating in jobs.it m that is how you ultimately get well,yw we've got policies in me place right now make it more dak difficult and more expensive iou would argue for small businesses that create jobs.cher any breaks, on the country, mesa to south dakota you talk to smallre business owners, farmers
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and ranchers. but they tell you is the policies, regulations coming out of washington d.c. make it moree expensive and difficult for job creators to createside jobs. abo if you look at the date on thate it's pretty clear. since this president took office we got higher unemployment 18%. 2.1 million more people unemployed than when he took spendin office. we have a 35% higher debt.the no we saw spending go up in the last two years alone with all te nondefense discretionary spending by 24%.re econo the number of people receiving food stamps is up bynd 40%. b all the data come all the tools by which we can measure economi. progress and growth demonstrate the policies putchange in placel this administration have been ad complete failure.spending, c so what we need, mr. president,a is a change in policies that s starts by cappingolutio federale spending for cutting federal spending in cabin in the near of term and putting in place a long-term solution a balanced s
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budget amendments like so many states have inta teplace, like e senator from kansas mentioned. t they cannot spend money they do notin have. in terms of our survey by the of small businesses who responded to the survey said they are not going to higher this year. 12% said they're going to cut jobs.cernedbout what' half of the small businesses listed economic uncertainty is the majorc., they reason.re got they don't know what theeir cosg policies and regulations that are just hunkered down in tryinl to we need to change that by impo getting federal spending underho control. cut cabin balances an important step in that process.r and please the house of representatives passed and will have an opportunity and i will
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doto get argue to my colleagues that this is fundamentally the best thing we can be doing to get not onlyr our fiscal house in order and get it on a more sustainable path going forward, but also toy help get our economy growing again and get jobs created out e there.s government larger. if that was the case, trillionwn dollars stimulus bill passed unemployment down. as we all know, refacing 9.2% unemployment r today.o we continue to see an economy by gtruggling, growing at a slowern rate. we need to unleash the economya, and the way we do that is by capping or cutting spending in economy washington d.c., making federal government mueller, not larger, getting the amount of spendingt as a percentage of our entire economy back into a more job historical norm.object taxes and regulations galo ands that's why i fundamentallyse
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object to what the president anu many of his allies here in, youc congress want to do with regard to the debt crisis and that is y increase revenues. you cannot create jobs in this country. you cannot grow the economy byny increasing taxes. i can't think of a single tax that you could put on our economy that actually would help create jobs. ic would have the opposite effect,l mr. president and make it more difficult for small businesses to create jobs for morethis difficult for the economic downturn. i hope our big vote here in the? senate and get this country bace on a more sound fiscal footinger and on a path where we canesid onate jobs and get the economy growing. budget a mr. president, i yield thece on floor. august 2. >> mr. president, we're going to move to a debate on the budget deficit. the the proposal before it was propa enacted by the house yesterday in a virtually partisan rollcall with maybe one or two i
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exceptions. the republicans passed a proposal which they haveloor of characterized as typed, cabin to balance. and they will bring it to the target floor of the senate forhe consideration.ba budge the price project spending is ig targets in cuts in spending forh the years to come and also to include in the conversation the balanced budget amendment. now, it is interesting the way they approach it because the i balanced budget amendment is literally an amendment to the constitution of the united the states than those of us who take birth seriously a nice enough every member of congress in ther senate especially understand that we are foreign to a pollt m thisan constitution. a in other words, to be treated as the i take guiding document fort actions as members of congress. i've taken the many times as the house and senate member and i take it seriously. and else because of the often skip to pull of those who come e forward and want to amend thef we have 27 amendments to then
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constitution. if enacted over the course of our nation's history. that the address some of the most serious issues and historic moments in our history and i think we should addressg that tt reis g document, the constitution of the air of humility, a feeling that before we afterwards,t. whatever they maybe should this great document entered for moree than 200 years, we should take care and be serious about it. f, motives or the intentions of those who come to the floor ande i won't do it in this instance. but i will tell you, sta mr. president, that you havete before us as we go later in thes day a proposal that we amend thy constitution of the united states i by choosing one of thre options are not lederle is what we will face. will three different versions of the balanced budget amendment to the consti3 three different versions of the balanced budget amendment to the constitution. and what we will consider here
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would address choosing onet of i don't think we were elected to e the united states senate and sworn to uphold the constitutioe to be part of a multiple-choice test about what the next amendment will be. in c i think we should be much more there on serious in our undertaking. i also tell you, mr. president that i've been in congress long enough to remember that a bit of history. there once was a president named ronald reagan and ronald reagan is president of s the united states was at the leadership position of the united states had a critical moment in our history. there is no question about it.ht some amazing things occurred during his administration. but when it came to the budget side of things, there were also some history made there is no. we are considering the tight feeling that the united states.a the debt side of the united calh states is the authority congress gives to the president to borrow
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money and each year, thee treasury secretary will call the president and that i need additional authority to bar for money. why does he ask for additional authority? because congress, house and mony senate that request for more spending on the president has to borrow more money to honor thosd requests. presi how much does the president hasg to borrow? in this day and age usabout 40 cents for every dollar we spendo so the president has been toldor that august 2nd is the drop dead date. he needs more authority toexampy borrow money for actions taken w by congress.id example, many members of congress, even some who now say they wanted the president this authority voted for america to go to war. not once but twice.defensef our and so voting, for example, thel war in afghanistan are committing the united states of
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america to spending $10 billion a monthhis em gomen in uniform. cin members of a family who are ovei there waging this war. they voted for that. money president obama has said toe m them, the bill is coming in for the war inre afghanistan. sayine i have to very money to pay for it. fo fo houseeb and senate who voted for the war not to understand say wr won't pay the bills.nistan. we want allow you, mr. president to sustain our military force io afghanistan. that is literally what we'ren do taught about here in this debate. the american people are turning to come to understand it because when you first ask a person, tht obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? by what i want one of them in this country? we need more less stack, notts e more. when you go to the point ofjusto explaining that this is to pay d for things we authority --
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that's the authority incurred, it isn't just a wage of war. 65a it is a debt incurred to pay fot medicare. we staaidl a to 65-year-olds acr america, you get medicare that will be there when you need pay. when you go to the hospital and turn your bills, will pay thejor hospital and we borrow money to do it. yield? >> thank you. i just walked in i appreciate w your comments about where weereh had h were. of 10 years ago we had a budget surplus in this country as you , recall. we had a number quarter after quarter of economic growth than we know the coming outcome when you have economic growth obviously the budget gets any better situation, but it was these tax cuts in 2001 o at 2003 i believe your post as site to the house of representatives that overwhelm the hot taxpayers another two words you talk about en that the people, not you, but
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enthusiastically voted for but didn't see the reason to pay for them nns medicare bill providedn which is basically the bailout to the insurance and drug privatizing medicare. whe and then were in a situation now with were simply trying to pay . the bills. i appreciate your thought andlii comments about where does that take us quite so it seems to meb not like raising a credit card debt limit. these are obligations we have do we have to be responsible natio elected officials and responsible citizens to pay the debts and the obligations thatod we s have incurred as a nation,h >> that's correct. i say to the senator from ohio,g since d 1939 when we have this n feeling, president after holder president has extended the debt ceiling because the cost of extg government can attack at thepred united states has come up in most administrations are the dug recordholder for the debt time,
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ceiling in united states history ronald mionald reagan on 18 different occasions during the year period of timeb. extended debt ceiling because during his administration we say tripled our national debt and so he needed to keep firing.ocratic so to say that this is debtmiste ceiling extension is the product of a democratic president is toe mistake the case. every president has faced it. ronald reagan asked for those reagan extensions more than any other.. when it comes to incurring debt in eight years in office, ronali reagan has the record for coming in second, george w. bush while he was in office and not enough seven different occasions for us to extend the debt ceiling. the point i'm making is president extend the w debt ceiling haslry ample history, some 89 different times we done that is down to dt pay for obligations thewell what
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authority made. the debts we have are the incurred.r what happens is we don't extend the debt ceiling? well, what would happen if the durban family and springfield, illinois didn't make the payment on our home this month? not good you are likely to get t call from the bank at some point saying he probably overlooked it, but there was a mortgage payment due. he said no, we're just not goins to pay it, we're not going to continue to borrow money fromng. your bank, they would say there are consequences in the sameingi thing is true if you don't extend the debt ceiling. money if we don't extend the t debtwil ceiling to meet our obligations, the credit report is not going to look at the next day same thing true for individuals and families. if you don't pay your bills come your credit report doesn't lookm soerica, i high. the but what's the difference? for the united states of america, the aaa credit rating and eventually throughout ou
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history will be i danger. a means the interest ratesintes charged to the united states for our own debt willl g go up ine m interest rates across therica. economy will go up, affecting every family business in america that borrows money, which would. be most families and businesses tirade of unemployment iser exactly the wrong thing to do. everyest rates single day the fl reserve sits down and tries to figure out a way to keep interest rates close to the economy will grow and jobs willo be created. if we have a self-inflicted wound here of not extendingst re date dealing, the net result of this is going to be a higher interest rate on our government and a higher interest rate ontht families and business is. a 1% increase, a 1% increase paid by our government on its debt cost us $130 billion a year to 1%.
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so we are running the risk of missing the deadline of august august 2nd to raising the worse interest rate, killing jobs, making it more difficult for businessesso whe to expand and increase the deficit. can you imagine three worst outcomes at this moment in our history? when members of the senate and house come here and make these thaisw, pronounce that's aboutt, never voting for extension of jeopardizing our economic recovery in the debt that we. p, face. thr now, some of them is that i'llha tell you what, vote for a debtad that they can amend the constitution and put in ayou n'n balanced budget amendment. mr. president, i have never wilo voted for a balanced budget amendment and here's the reasonn you don't need the constitution to tell you what to do. we know what we needoting t foot we should have the will to do it. for those who have been guilty of voting for all the spending t and now want a balanced budget t and manage the constitution, remains at me of the person who
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says they won't promise you thai i will steal again, but i willc? vote for the 10 commandments. well, great. wouldn't it be better if youghty changed your conduct in the waya that it? congress dealt with this budget deficitt e forthrightly? is and we can. for those who for those who sayt you don't have a very good tracn record, they areg to right. but efforts are underway on butt is expanding in size, which is trying to on a bipartisan basisn democrats and republicans come up with the way through the budget deficit problem. now it is not easy. we've been at it for more than sixe we produced a plan, which is now reductio carefully scrutinized and will be worked done i am sure for a long time to come, the moose is in the direction of $4 trillion in deficit reduction. e it does it by putting everything on the table.er two spending cut, entitlement programs and revenue.
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now, spending cuts are easy reductionso the other two. easier for us and my t dad becae he generally involve speech or spending and thinking perhaps one of the negative impact in ae the future that some imagine. hv but eit comes to the entitlement programs, we deal with a different mindset when it comes to the american people. i believe that social security and medicare have become the are important to today americans fas than they were 25 years ago because the vulnerability of s familiesec today to plan for retirement to save some money,os maybe the pension plan and in social security. well, over the years perhaps thr savings that they had when theta stock market went down 30% a fel years ago. survive corporate restructuring or bankruptcy of social security was the last game in town for a lot of people are, retiring. so when you talk about changinge
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social security, people across america, 40 or 50 perk up and'st mind because we count on it andd oc don't want you to miss with s here's what i can say aboutvery make everyoo promise payment wit the costs of adjustment for 25 years. wert now that's pretty good. security there isn't another program in government that would say the same thing. what happens at the end of 25 te years? we start running out of money and reducing social security tal payments 22% but one fifth are little more of the payment that a person is receiving today would disappear winay 25 years. do so what we are talking about ane all the deficit conversations is to find ways to extend theo life insolvent via social security and there are ways to do it. we've talked about a variety of eifferent ways to do las veg itb any savings and social security will stay in socialnvested sec.
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we are going to make sure that the savings we put in socialerme security will be invested in the program to make it stronger and longer. i also want a program to be fair. we all do in terms of the ow beneficiaries. particularly the most vulnerable beneficiaries.social secy chec mr. president, about 20% of social security beneficiaries, l the lowest 20% are below the poverty line even after they get the social security elder checkd we need to change that. we shouldn't allow that to happen.medicareuch the these are mainly elderly people who with a helping hand of our government in social security c should be of the poverty level. and what medicare much the same. if we don't do witho medicare,nd increasing cost of health healte will cause the program to run wo into trouble. what we need to do is make cost certain to protect them if it'st reduce the cost. we have to reward value rather than volume when it comes to.
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medical treatments and we have to keep our promise to the medicare beneficiaries. there have been proposals made,i one by the house republicans in their budget, the so-called paul ran budget, which would've dramatically changed medicare. out-of-pocket expenditures be would've more than doubled to $6000 a year. $500 a month by a person who isd retired can be a hardship is not an impossibility.aid in the even worse, and house republican budget would take medicare as we know it and turn it pla upside s and set in the future under ther house republican plan, medicare is going toan be managed arms os the health insurance companies.i i don't think most americans feel responsible to hear that.ps as we begin the debate this in afternoon on the cut cap and balance, the points i want to b make is this. we should not be considering a r plan which does not put in mul
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specific language the balancedtr budget amendment, but asks members of the united states to cly vote for him multiple-choice test as to what your nexto have amendment to theth constitution will equate.ortant second they come or should carefully scrutinize every word of the amendment.responsility to those who have say they are poorly drafted and have no place in the most important document in america. third, let's accept the responsibility to do but were elected tod, let's accept the responsibility to do but were elected to do, reduce spending, bring the budget thur3 third, let's accept the responsibility to do but were elected to do, reduce spending, bring the budget to balance and do it in a sensible, humane way. the notion was somehow a vendor. can't you two should it wait foe three fourths of the states to ratify it is in my mind thatd bt responsible.ut i amion going to oppose this. i'm not going to oppose efforts, but i'm going to oppose our the notion that somehow i balanced budget amendment to our constitution will be ourgot to s salvation. as the old. pres we will do this ourselves. members of the united states
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mr. president, i suggest the absence of the corn. >> the clerk will call the roll, >> president, there was ever aht time that the american people t. become engaged in what going ong here m in washington, now is tht time. and decisions are being made as we speak, which will impact not only our generation, but the lives of our children and our grandchildren for decades to come. i fear very muchecisions, the dr being contemplated or not good o decisions, are not their the decisions. imp right now, there is aorta lot an discussion about two things. o number one, the importance of i the united state not defaultingn for the first time in our history on our debts. i think there is increasedecy, d understanding that that would be
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a disaster for the american economy. that would be a disaster for the world's economy and we should not do that. ficit secondly, there is increased whh discussion now on long-term deficit reduction, how we address the crisis which we face today of a record-breakingdebt,b deficit, 1.4 trillion a 14 plus trillion dollars national debt,e a debt by the way caused by twod unpaid wars, huge tax breaks fob the wealth he has people, anec medicare prescription drug an program written by the insuranct company because of the recessio, caused by the greed and where we recklessness and illegal behavior on wall street. he that as it may, regardless of how we got to where we are righa now, there are effortss to develop long-term deficit reduction plans. one of them has to do with thehe
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so-called gang of six.fa and while we do not know all ofl the details of that proposal, ie fact we never will because a lot of the proposal boots the issue to committee site finance time committee who have to work out i what those details will be at this time. i think it is fair to say that a senator coburn, senator crapo and senator chambliss deserved a word of congratulations.my g clearly they have won this 90% o debate in a very, very significant way. my guess is they will probably get 80% or 90% of what they weaa wanted. in this town, that is quite an . achievement. they have stood firm in their desire to represent the wealthy and powerful multinationalthey corporations. they are threatened. they have been very smart in a number they of ways.ngratula thm
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they've been determined and at the end of the day they will get 80%n or 90% of what they want. that is arabic are and i congratulate them on their fate jury. their victory will be a disaster for working families in this other the, for other the, for the sick, for the children and for low-income people.he i did want to mention based on o the limited information thatft t have. s and as i get more information, i'll be on the floor more often. they think itor is important tot othe least highlight some of what is in the so-called gang of six rea that the cotrporate media among others is enthralled. some may remember that for a number of years, leading democrats said that we will do everything we can thaos protectt socials. he, that social security hasilin
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been an extraordinary success it our country, that for 75 years, with such volatility in theats economy, social security is pais out every night go out toit, eligible american. and i for a democrat say that social security has nothing to do with payroll the deficit ands right because social security is funded by the a payroll tax, noo by the weu.s. treasury. social security is a $2.6 trillion surplus today,ousy compared every benefit to everyo eligible american forpular the p 25 years, an enormously populart program. pollit after poll from the american people says don't cut social security. to enact years ago when barack obama, then senator from f illinois ran for president of thele united state, he made it very clear, if you vote for in b him and no socials.
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he.agre and yet, what senators coburn, b crapo ande chambliss has managed to do in the gang of six has reached an agreement where there will be major, major cuts in social security. don't let anybody kid you about this being some minor thing.uriy it is not. what we are talking about is under the so-called gang of six proposal, social security cuts would go into effect by the year 2012, virtually immediately. w and what that means is 10 yearsy from now the typical 75-year-ol6 person will see their social security benefits cut by $560 a year in the average 85-year-old will see a cut of $1000 a year. for some people here in washington, the lobbyists make hundreds of thousands oyofu dols
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a year. not seem like a lot of money. the end but if you are a senior trying 00 get by and 14, income $18,000 per year to 85 years old,receiva totally vulnerable, you're sick, $1000 a year for which you otherwise would have first viewed as a major, major blow. ha so i congratulate senator coburn, senator crapo, senatorad uambliss for doing a president obama said would not happen, m under his watch.ecurity. but the democrats said would nos happen under theirt watch.meris major cuts in social security. but it's not just social insue at security. we have 50 million americans today who have no health pro insurance at all. under the gang of six proposal that will be cuts in medicare or a ten-year period of almo